Essential Products Is Shutting Down

By Dan Anderson ● February 16, 2020
  • Essential Products, a smartphone company founded by Andy Rubin, announced recently that it is shutting down

Essential Products, a smartphone company founded by Andy Rubin, announced recently that it is shutting down. Rubin is known as being the founder of Android, a company that was acquired by Google in 2005 and became the foundation of the search giant’s mobile operating system.

In terms of venture capital, Essential Products had raised $330 million largely due to Rubin’s reputation of being a mobile device visionary. And Essential was valued at $1 billion at one point. Some of Essential’s investors included Access Technology Ventures, Playground Global, Redpoint, Amazon, Tencent, and Hai Precision Industry Company (Foxconn).

Before launching Android, Rubin co-founded a company called Danger in 1999. Danger was acquired by Microsoft in 2008 for a rumored $500 million, but Rubin had left the company to launch Android in 2003.

In 2017, Essential released a premium smartphone but demand for the device was low. And Essential Products also decided to end its plans to develop a smart speaker.

There were reports that Rubin’s exit from Google involved a generous package despite sexual misconduct claims against him. Rubin had denied the claim. Google CEO Sundar Pichai and co-founder Larry Page apologized for the way the company handled these types of cases.

“As part of the company wind down, the security update for PH-1 released on February 3 is the last update from the Essential software team. Your PH-1 will continue to work but we will not be providing any additional updates or customer support. Current Newton Mail users will have access to the service through April 30, 2020. For developer fans, a prebuilt of our vendor image and everything else needed to keep hacking on PH-1 will be hosted on our github,” said Essential in a blog post. “To the Essential and Newton Mail communities, we offer our deepest thanks for your support and passion for our vision. You motivated us, kept us on our toes and made it all worthwhile.”